Dannie King ’64

Dannie Hilleary King of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, passed away in his home on January 23, 2021. He was 78.

Dannie was born on April 1, 1942 to parents Eloise Hanna King and Patrick Henry King. After being raised in Greenbrier County, he became an accomplished and world renowned virologist and microbiologist, earning a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from Davidson College, a Master’s degree in bacteriology and immunology from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in microbiology and virology from N.C. State University.

Dannie’s extensive work in the field of virology, microbiology, and biochemistry spanned decades and included professorships at Duke University, NC State University, Appalachian State University, Semmelweis University, and Oxford University.

He was the recipient of seven international awards for his seminal medical achievements, including two Queens Awards (British Monarchy). In his lifetime he secured 12 biomedicine and biotechnology patents, gave pharmaceutical presentations to Congress, led FDA advisory meetings as a medical director and research developer, and was the president, CEO, and board member of several pharmaceutical companies.

In 2020, he served as a consultant to Dr. Anthony Fauci and the National Institutes of Health. His virology knowledge was a critical asset in their challenge to understand and treat the COVID-19 virus. Dannie was dedicated to finding treatments for ‘untreatable’ diseases, achieving FDA approval for five such drugs. His lifetime crowning achievement was the approval of AZT for AIDS, not only breaking the record for FDA fastest drug approval, but extending life for the patients who before this had no hope but imminent death.

An avid adventurer and outdoorsman, Dannie loved traveling the world and being on and in the water. He was a seasoned, expert sailor who found joy in meticulously maintaining sailboats in waters all around the world. He was a diver on the Davidson College team and picked as an alternate for the 1960 U.S. Olympic team. Dannie was also an accomplished marksman and NRA Distinguished Expert.

Dannie was an inventor and dreamer with a witty sense of humor and heart of gold. He was known for his warm, wonderful smile, playful banter and steadfast individuality. When he wasn’t pioneering new patents or using his extensive academic and scientific accomplishments to help better the world, he found solace listening to his favorite jazz on the mountaintop in White Sulphur Springs with his faithful Plott Hound, Seth.

Dannie’s legacy lives on in his brothers Stephen King and Charles ‘Toby’ King; his daughter, Amanda King, his son, Nicholas King; grandchildren Alex Lieth and Angelica Fenton; two great-grandchildren, three step-grand and four step great-grandchildren; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins. Dannie was a loving father and grandfather, and cherished his family above all else.

The family extends sincere thanks and particular gratitude to GW Lewis and Robert Hurley of White Sulphur Springs for their dedicated assistance to Dannie over the last several years. A memorial service in White Sulphur Springs will be scheduled in several months.

Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in White Sulphur Springs is in charge of arrangements. Please send online condolences by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com.

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